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Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has given the assurance that CARICOM leaders intend “to get to the bottom of some of the issues that are spawning the level of violence that we are seeing across the Caribbean today”.

His comments came as he spoke to the Barbados Government Information Service prior to the start of this week’s Twenty-Ninth Inter-sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), which opened on Sunday in Port-au-Prince.

Mr. Stuart explained that the Caribbean had been witnessing a gradual and, at times, rapid deterioration of the state of its societies as a result of crime and violence, and he promised that the issue would take centre stage at the summit.

He continued: “At the regional level, crime and violence has become a serious issue for us. It’s actually threatening the stability of our societies and, therefore, not without significance, the distinguished Prime Minister of Jamaica requested at the last Heads of Government meeting in Grenada, that rather than just discussing the issue of regional security, that we should also discuss the issue of crime and violence since that was a pressing issue for him in Jamaica from day-to-day. And, therefore, that is going to be an important agenda item at this meeting.”

Prime Minister Stuart remained optimistic that regional leaders would come to a consensus on adopting measures “to counteract these tendencies and to create a more peaceful civilsation for our people”.

The CARICOM Conference officially opened on Sunday evening with a reception at the Karibe Hotel, hosted by the Chairman of the Conference and President of Haiti, Jovenel Moise, and First Lady, Martine Moise.

The formal business session begins today at the Marriott Hotel and will run until Wednesday, February 28.


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